The Canary delegation that will attend this week's Fruit Logistica, in Berlin, will be looking for alternative markets for tomato exports currently shipped to the United Kingdom, given the possibility of a hard Brexit.
"The uncertainty about Brexit is a hot topic. Nobody knows what is going to happen. Cucumbers, and especially tomatoes for export, have been directly affected," since 48% of their production is sold in the United Kingdom," said the Councilor for Agriculture, Narvay Quintero, after the meeting of the Governing Council.
The Netherlands and other Central European countries are pointed as possible markets for the tomatoes, said Quintero, adding that "in this horticultural fair, meetings will be held with large distribution chains in order to try selling the goods."
The initial agreement between the European Commission and the British Government, rejected by the latter's Parliament, kept Canary tomato exports tariff-free, but this won't be the case if a hard Brexit ensues, said Quintero.
The Councilor was satisfied with the agreement reached with the Government of Spain to promote Canary tomatoes in Europe as a differentiated product.
He said that at Fruit Logistica, a fair attended by some 78,000 people, the Canary Islands will have its own stand in the framework of a joint strategy with Proexca. The goal is to give visibility to the products of the islands.
This presence in Berlin follows other initiatives in European forums carried out by his Council in recent weeks to defend the primary sector against the future Common Agricultural Policy, he explained.
According to Quintero, it is necessary to maintain the pressure on the governments of Spain and Europe. The goal is to ensure that the regulations that will define the CAP for the next seven-year period take into account the specific factors affecting the production and marketing of products from the islands.
The idea is for no regulation to be modified without taking into account that the Canary Islands is a remote, fragmented, insular territory with a different topography.
The Vice Councilor of the Primary Sector, Abel Morales, has met in the European Parliament with MEPs to ensure that the amendments submitted to these regulations take those factors into account.